Understanding traditions

msa vice president Omar Elhanafy and P.R of msa Rama Al-Shreteh

MSA Vice President Omar Elhanafy and P.R of MSA Rama Al-Shreteh

By Kiara Perez |Staff Writer|

The Hijab Challenge, hosted by Muslim Students’ Association (MSA), challenged women to wear the hijab for four days or half a day in an effort to educate women about Muslim culture and identity.

“Feb. 1st is recognized as World Hijab Day, people of different faiths, including Christian, Jews, Muslims participate in this,” explained MSA President Muhammad Khan.

This is the main reason why MSA organized the Hijab Challenge starting on Jan. 30 through Feb. 2.

MSA set up a booth in front of the San Manuel Student Union (SMSU) featuring a table full of colorful hijabs. Women had a chance to select a Hijab of their choosing, to learn about the experience of Muslim women and understand the meaning of wearing a hijab.

The process of wearing a hijab, and the many different materials that can be used were also taught to participants. Although the hijab may be worn with religious or cultural intent, it is an individual choice on how a person decides to cover themselves depends on their culture.

Rama Al-Shreteh, the Public Relations Offi cer for MSA, made a choice to wear the hijab around her eighth grade year. “My parents didn’t force me, no one can force me to wear it,” said Al-Shreteh. Al-Shreteh loves wearing her hijab because she feels it represents her beliefs explicitly.

“It means much more than just a piece of cloth on top of my head. It is a constant reminder for me that God is with me wherever I go—that helps me to keep my morality in check,” expressed Al-Shreteh.

The hijab is may be worn as a form of modesty for women; it is seen as a way of worship and focusing on their mind soul.

“Modesty I guess would be proper manners, respect for self, as well as respect for others,” said MSA Vice President Omar Elhanafy, After all, the main reason a hijab is worn is because “beauty is considered sacred,” stated Khan.

In Muslim culture, the objectifi cation of men and women, is not allowed. For example, a married women displaying cleavage or wearing tights in public is not considered modest.

However, they may dress in whatever manner couple when in the presence of their spouse.

The hijab may also be passed down from generation to generation, and traditions will continue to be shared.

Even looking at the image of the Virgin Mary, it appears she is covering her head with what looks like a hijab, veil, or head scarf.

“If you trace it back, the Muslim belief consists of believing in every prophet, so naturally we do believe in Adam to Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and lastly the main prophet Mohammad,” said Khan.

“So, everything that has been passed down through all these prophets we believe in. Which include some of the commandments like covering your head.

There are little differences here and there depending on interpretation or maybe a new scripture,” continued Khan.

MSA is satisfied with the amount of students from different backgrounds and cultures that came together to participate in the challenge to understand women and men in the Muslim community.

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